A Commemorative postage Stamp Issued on ( 04 / July / 1999 ) the Birth centenary of Gulzarilal Nanda acted twice as the Prime minister of India , after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru and again after that of Lal Bahadur Shastri.
Born on 4th July, 1898 at Sialkot (West Pakistan), he joined the Non-cooperation Movement in 1921. Deeply influenced by Gandhiji he went to Ahmedabad to work among textile labour and was involved in trade union activities in Ahmedabad for two decades starting from 1922. He was jailed during the Satyagraha Movement in 1932. While in jail, with his habits of systematic study, he started reading and thinking about planning, which was the beginning of his long association with Planning which culminated in his stint as Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission in Independent India many years later. Gulzarilal Nanda was elected Member, Legislative Assembly, Bombay in 1937 and subsequently in 1947.
He served the Bombay Government as the Minister of Labour and Housing from 1 947-1950. He was also the prime mover in organising the Indian National Trade Union Congress in Mumbai in 1947.
Gulzarilal Nanda was appointed Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission in 1950 and was responsible for several important initiatives which led to the evolution of the Planning Commission into one of the most important institutions of the Government of India. During his long political career he also held charges of the Ministries of Irrigation and Power, Labour and Employment, Home Affairs and Railways. As Home Minister of the country at a crucial juncture, he had to tackle problems of law and order, corruption at high places, agitation over the creation of Punjabi Suba and the anti-Hindi agitation in the south. Contrary to his soft spoken disposition, he was a man of steel and hand led the situation effectively.
After the demise of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964, Gulzarilal Nanda w ho was the Home Minister was called upon to step in as the Prime Minister of the country, a duty which he discharged with sincerity and efficiency. He had to take up the responsibility once again after the demise of Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1966. He was Member of the first five Lok Sabha's.
He retired from active politics in the early 70's, but continued to be engaged in the service of the people. H e was an illustrious Indian who gave all for the good of the country seeking nothing of him self. A grateful nation conferred "Bharat Ratna", the highest civilian award on him in 1997.